The study was designed to explore both physician and consumer perceptions of VMS, the sources of information used when making product and brand selections, and the key purchase drivers for health-minded consumers. Research was gathered through an online survey of 150 physicians and more than 900 consumers from AccentHealth’s Consumer Connections™ panel of AccentHealth viewers. Encuity Research conducted the physician component of the study.
The study found that AccentHealth viewers are frequent consumers of VMS productsabout 90 percent of AccentHealth viewers reported they have taken vitamins and/or supplements, and more than 50 percent of those viewers reported taking vitamins and supplements “always" or “often."
The study also showed that with the greater emphasis on preventative care, the physician’s role is becoming even more vital as consumers are turning to their doctors for information and guidance. Research illustrated that consumers most commonly look to healthcare practitioners – more than friends and family, pharmacists and the Web – for information on VMS, with 59 percent of consumers looking to their physicians for information on VMS products, and 42 percent of consumers considering healthcare practitioners to be their most trusted source of information
According to the study, doctor-patient discussions regarding VMS products are common, and the outcome is often a recommendation for a VMS product. In fact, nearly 80 percent of consumers reported that they have received a physician recommendation for a vitamin or supplement product. Among those, 84 percent reported they typically comply with their doctor’s suggestions, and 72 percent purchased the recommended vitamin or supplement product.
“Our study underscores the physician’s increasingly essential role in providing guidance to consumers on the VMS product choices that best suit their health and wellness needs," said Natalie Hill, vice president of insights and analytics, AccentHealth.